New Topic...but real for many of us! Need Help!
For all practical purposes I am a single skier, especially when it comes to week long trips out west. I am 65, married for 40+ years, three grown ultra busy kids, 6 grandkids, etc. My wife has skied but really doesn't like it...seems she hates cold, heights, going fast. Anyway, my dilemma is trying to find a decent place for a single at a major western resort without paying for two ("price per double"). I also desire having friends to ski with, but most have moved away (alas, not to a ski area), or are still slaving away trying to put away enough money to think about retiring.
Bottom line: anyone know of resort housing that is reasonably priced for a single. Anyone know of trips or, better yet, some similarly situated DCSkiers that might want to travel out west with me?
I am really looking forward to hearing from you all and I admit jealously for those who have a skiing spouse. But I did not start my skiing until 38 years ago....
FYI....I joined the "Over The Hill Gang" club but even they do not feature trips that solve my problem.
but really a
As far as accomodations... Most resort housing is best for groups (condos) or at least for couples (hotel room)... The best options for single travelers are generally hostels and that kind of thing. I am sure there are plenty of dirt bag hostels in ski towns all over...
Have you looked into any of the ski clubs arround here? If you want something online... You should consider joining and getting to know people from epicski or even TGR. Both communities are very active both online and with skiing activities.
Also why not try to convince the wife to move to ski country? I don't think places like SLC or Santa Fe or Seattle are really all that cold in them selves as long as you stay at reasonable elevation.
You're welcome to PM me Colonel about some upcoming trips I've got later this season. I can give you the details and you can decide for yourself if they sound like your cup of tea or not.
Other than that, for "single" lodging you might want to look at some of the one-off resorts (that is, the ones not on the A list yet). If you went to Snowbasin, for instance, you could stay in Ogden pretty cheap. Or Big Mountain in Montana stay in Whitefish might be a good option (or Schweitzer/Sandpoint). If you can find a second-tier resort (and having been to Big Mountain, I can say from experience that these second tier resorts can hold their own with terrain, snow, lack of crowds and good prices) near a mid-sized town, you're probably going to be able to find some good lodging deals. Also look into "late season," which seems to begin after April 1st at many places. Little secret: although you usually won't get a powder dumping that time of year, snow depths max out at most resorts in early to mid April before the spring runoff begins, so you'll have some of the best skiing of the year (solid ski bases, immaculate weather, corn snow, no lines) at cut rate prices.
Finally, the best place I've ever skied alone is Canada, and in particular Lake Louise. It's not uncommon to just wind up hanging out with people for an evening. The dollar's dropped quite a bit since I went there, but you definitely won't get that "lonely" feel with our wonderful northern neighbors. Plus they're having a winter to remember. If you can splurge a little more on the plane ticket, you won't be disappointed.
Honestly a good bet might be to look up some of the SCWDC trips. You don't have to be a member, you just pay a little more and can go as a guest. That way you get to go as a single, might meet some new friends and get to go to some cool places.
Thanks for the change of topic!
On one of my trips to Alta, my wife and I were taken back by the number of "experienced" skiers that were staying at the Alta Peruvian. The Peruvian has std. rooms, plus dorm rooms if you want to save some $. All your meals are included in the nightly rate and is served in the dinning room where they put at table of eight. You're pretty much forced to sit and talk with other people three times a day. I've met a bunch of great people at the Peruvian, both young and old. We ended up skiing with people we had eaten dinner with the night before.
Glad to see you're still skiing at 65. Gives me inspiration.
I know this dilemma that the Col talks about. I'm about 10 years behind him. If it weren't for my younger kids I might be a single skier too as many of my ski buddy-contemporaries have given it up or cut way back and my wife is fair weather only.
Hostels and dorms are kind of awkward for most 65 yr olds. I stayed in the Abominable Snowmansion near Taos many years ago when I was about 40 and felt ancient, but the price and location was right.
I was thinking of the Alta dorms too. They attract a more affluent/older clientele. About 4 or 5 of the slopeside lodges at Alta offer dorm arrangements with as few as 4 to a room and I believe they charge a single rate. You get matched up with strangers and eat meals with them and others staying in the lodge. Taos may have a few such upscale/slopeside arrangements too.
I do have one bachelor friend who goes on occasional Ski Club of Wash trips and enjoys the camaraderie of that group. He went to Jackson Hole with them last year and Whistler a few years before that. They match you with room mate in condo or hotel. Tromano has a possibly good suggestion about those www.epicski.com
group trips (Stowe, Aspen, Tahoe, Vail/Copper in 06/07). They are heavy on instruction too, I haven't been on any though. Getting the word out with the www.DCSkiers is good too. Have you hooked up with any of us for day trips?
another option is www.meetup.com
My wife and I signed up for a bunch of groups so we could get out and meet new people who share the same interests. I think a few of the groups also put together trips. I haven't been to any eventsw yet. The first one I'm going to is at Dremo's in Courthuse this Monday.
You have described me almost exactly. Same age, married 38 yrs., wife doesn't ski, hates cold, is afraid of heights, speed, and standing on things that slide, 2 kids, 3 grandkids. I'm still working for another 2 yrs. or so. I ski a lot on front or back of business trips and usually have company. Daughter with 3 boys lives in northern VT which is great; son lives in Chicago and is single, has a good job and can set his own hrs. We ski a lot together. For now everything is OK - except that I don't get enough skiing. When I retire I suspect that the loneliness problem will appear. My wife wants to retire in Manhattan; she spent some growing up years there and it's in her blood. No small town or ski town suits her. My plan is to rent a small place for 8-10 weeks each year, changing locales each year. I'll do this after President's Day, when many tourists quit for the season and I can bargain a good deal. I'll let extended family & friends know they are welcome. Hopefully it will work for me; I've never been apart from my wife that long. When friends and family come I'll ride lifts. Otherwise I'll ski backcountry or XC. I enjoy skiing alone about as much as skiing with friends but enjoy company in the evening and the right company on the slope. I can ski with just about anybody but can't keep up the pace of young people all day, or any part of a day while climbing. Most skiers my age are too pedestrian for me and none of them are keen for backcountry. As a result, I often do backcountry alone, even places like Mt. Washington, Mt. Mansfield, Mt. Hood, Yosemite, Indian Peaks Wilderness Colo., -, -, -,and of course the Dolly Sods. I enjoy the feeling of being "out there" with the mountains, on their own terms, and am very conservative when alone. My wife always knows my whereabouts and I call to let her know as soon as I am off the mountain and in cell phone range.
PM me if you want to set up a meeting sometime.
Many places in Europe that I have skied offer single rooms plus half board for half of what a double room costs. In short, there is no penalty for booking a single. Of course, the West has better snow these days but the situation is finally starting to improve in the Alps. As far as how one is treated as a single in Europe, that's a tough one. The travel writer Paul Thereaux claims that he always travels alone because that's really the only way to meet locals--single travelers seem more open to conversation than couples. I've found that the big tables in most mountainside restaurants in the Alps foster a lot of interaction between people. Lifts, as we all know, are great conduits for social interaction. Of course, language is always a slight barrier but many people seem to speak English better than us since it is the new lingua franca over there (Dutch, Norwegians, Danes, and Germans in particular). I think many people would be impressed to meet a 65 year old American who has the guts to travel and ski alone in foreign countries.
Try Beaver Lodge in Winter Park. The rates are good (private rooms) and include breakfast and dinner. The breakfast food is great - dinner is okay. It is an OLD lodge and the rooms look it - uneven floors, sloped ceilings, narrow staircases. The lodge is about 1 mile from Winter Park right across from the free shuttle. I've stayed there once and am going there again at the end of the month with 2 of my boys. It's not the Hyatt, but it is cozy and comfortable.
Ooh - you've gotten some good advice already.
Over the years I've done a ton of ski trips travelling as a single and had very good luck finding reasonably priced rooms that were the same price for 1 or 2 people. For example, I once stayed in a hotel in downtown Steamboat for $40 a night. On another trip, I got a great deal at Grouse Mountain Lodge (Whitefish, MT - Big Mountain) in early December (that was also about $40 a night), followed by 2 weeks in Sandpoint, ID (Schweitzer) for $20/night (over the xmas and new years holidays included). On a trip to Targhee, I scored a cheap summer cabin rental in town by encountering a restaurant owner that also happened to own the cabins (ok - so the instructions for that one included leaving the kitchen cabinets open so the pipes wouldn't freeze - but hey that's adventure!). I've stayed at the Alta Peruvian before. That's a great throwback in time experience. But lately I just stay in Murray when I go to SLC. Last I checked, you could get rooms for about $45 through most of this season. Youth hostels will put up geezers (speaking for myself only) when they are not full of kids. Hostel kids are amazingly respectful of experienced adventurers. I once scored a room in St Moritz for $8/night including breakfast (including fruit + yogurt!). There were only 4 beds in the room and the whole place was brand new. Most of the time, when I'd hit the rinky dink resorts by car I'd just cruise into town with no reservation and drive around till I scored something. In the small towns, it's easy to find a cheap place quick. These days, the Internet makes it easier to get a good deal, but still not quite as good as living by your wits.
Travelling as a single, I've found that I often get adopted by other groups. It's cool to meet new people that way. Whether you run into them at dinner or on the slopes, at the off the beaten track resorts life runs at a slower pace. I've found this especially true at the European resorts I've been to. Some groups have people coming from all corners of the world to meet up year after year. They tend to collect new members out of habit even if you are a one time wonder. If you want to hang with other retirees, I can recommend Big Mountain. During the week, 60% of the skiers are over 60 and the same ones are there every day. The time I spent two weeks there, I was treated like a local by week 2 (e.g. people recognizing you off the slopes).
As folks have mentioned, there are a ton of ski clubs in the area that offer dozens of trips through the season. Most have trips where they pair singles up together. Although club trips get you great deals, handle the local transportation hassles and fix you up with roomies, I've personally been able to find less costly deals on my own (and snore in peace) simply by being willing to step down a little in room quality. Occasionally you might get screwed, but I've certainly had a lot more adventures. Like the time I scored a couch at a bed and breakfast type place in Taos where I had to argue with the owner to give her $10 a night.
No matter how you do it, there are a lot more options out there than you might think.